Series: The Book, Part 4
The King that Wouldn't Go Away
24 May 2015
We continue our Spring and Summer series called The Book. Over the next several months we are going to be teaching out of all the sections of the Bible and seeing how it’s put together, seeing common threads that connect the books of the Bible to make up The Book.
We continue in the Historical books, a thousand-year period that starts in Joshua and ends with Esther. These books tell the story of
(1) Israel’s entry into the Promised Land of Canaan under Joshua;
(2) Israel’s life in the land under the judges and the transition to kingship;
(3) the division of the nation into two rival kingdoms (Israel and Judah) and life in both;
(4) the downfall and exile of each kingdom;
(5) life in the exile; and
(6) Judah’s return from exile.
One of the threads of the historical books, that ties this section to every other section of Scripture, is in regards to what is said to King David by the prophet Nathan. Read 2 Samuel 7:4-29. How many times do you read the word “forever”? How would God establish David’s throne forever? For a clue, go to Acts 2:29-32.
Jesus, in contrast to all the Kings that would sit on the throne of Judah, would be superior. In fact, you could sum it up in three words, KING OF KINGS!
Last week we saw how the prophet Ahijah came to Jeroboam and prophesied that he would be king of the northern kingdom, Israel. But notice what he says about Judah. Note his use of the imagery of a lamp.
“Yet to his son I will give one tribe (Judah), that David my servant may always have be a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen to put my name.” 1 Kings 11:36
The lamp reference apparently refers to the customary practice in Israel of burning a lamp in the window of a house to indicate the family was at home. When the lamp was extinguished, it indicated the breaking up of the home and the destruction of the family.
There were 20 Kings that would rule over Judah, and each one would die. But Jesus was different. Check out the following that speak of Jesus: Luke 1:33, Romans 9:5, Hebrews 1:8,5:6,7:24,13:8
“That lamp of David’s promised reign would be ignited once and for all in the eternal reign of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, whom the Scriptures say was ‘of the house of David.’”
Note one more thing before we move on… a lamp is a picturesque way of describing a successor or successors who would dispel all kinds of darkness. Who ultimately would dispel darkness as a light, lamp? See John 1, 2 Corinthians 4:6.
Listen to what William Lane Craig says.
“His authority comes to expression in the content and style of His teaching. These two aspects of His teaching are especially evident in the Sermon on the Mount. A Jewish rabbi’s typical style of teaching was to quote extensively from other learned teachers, who provided the basis of authority for his own teaching. But Jesus did exactly the opposite. He began, “You have heard that it was said to the men of old …” and quoted the law of Moses. Then he continued, “But I say to you …” and gave His own teaching. Jesus thus equated His own authority with that of the divinely-given law. It’s no wonder that Matthew comments, “When Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes” (Matt. 7:28–29 RSV).”
Notice that he adjusted the law on his own authority - “But I say to you…” Here is another example:
“You have heard the law that says, “A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.” But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.” (Matt. 5:31–32 NLT)
Jesus was placing His own authority over the divine law.
TWO THINGS TO THINK ABOUT IN RESPONSE.
• We sometimes make Jesus out to be, not the King of Kings, but one of many good influences of society. So we lump Jesus in with Gandhi, Muhammad, the Dali Lama, and Buddha, and we see Jesus’ teachings perhaps on par with other good teachers. This is a very politically-correct stance. No feathers are ruffled, no offense is made. Yet Jesus’ own self-awareness and what the Scriptures declare from Genesis to Revelation is that there would come a King of Whom John said, “the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” (John 1)
King of Kings - ultimate light, ultimate teaching!
• If he is truly the KING of KINGS, think about all that He is entitled to rule and reign over in your life. Should there be anything that we hold back?
I have started a list, perhaps you can add to it.
- I can trust him with my finances
- I can trust him with my biggest fears
- I can put my confidence in him for my future
- When facing crisis I can know He can guide me
- In death I can be at peace
- Building my life around His values, character makes the best sense
- Using my resources to align with His purposes is the best investment
- Studying His life is the best of all subjects to shape my thinking, values and morals
KING OF KINGS - Why not start each day this week by declaring that Jesus is the KING OF KINGS and then go out and live like it!
If interested in joining or starting a small group contact our Director of Worship and Discipleship Amanda Van Halteren firstname.lastname@example.org
So last week, I talked about apparent contradictions among similar texts referring to the Kings of Israel and Judah. This week, let’s stay with that theme… what is UP with Jesus’ two seemingly-different genealogies in Matthew 1 and Luke 3:23-38?
Some say that this is proof of errors in the Bible. “But wait, says any-historian-worth-his-salt, the Jews were meticulous record keepers!” Did you know that a scribe who was copying a page of Scripture and who made ONE error was required to throw that page out and start over again? A pretty expensive and time-consuming error to make when you think that everything was done by hand! So the answer must lie elsewhere – there is NO WAY that Matthew and Luke, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to boot, would have allowed such contradiction to appear.
Well then, let’s turn it over to Dr. Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe, respected Christian scholars:
“This should be expected, since they are two different lines of ancestors, one traced through His legal father, Joseph and the other through His actual mother, Mary. Matthew gives the official line, since he addresses Jesus’ genealogy to Jewish concerns for the Jewish Messiah’s credentials which required that Messiah come from the seed of Abraham and the line of David (cf. Matt. 1:1). Luke, with a broader Greek audience in view, addresses himself to their interest in Jesus as the Perfect Man (which was the quest of Greek thought). Thus, he traces Jesus back to the first man, Adam (Luke 3:38).
That Matthew gives Jesus’ paternal genealogy and Luke his maternal genealogy is further supported by several facts. First of all, while both lines trace Christ to David, each is through a different son of David. Matthew traces Jesus through Joseph (his legal father) to David’s son, Solomon the king, by whom Christ rightfully inherited the throne of David (cf. 2 Sam. 7:12ff). Luke’s purpose, on the other hand, is to show Christ as an actual human. So he traces Christ to David’s son, Nathan, through his actual mother, Mary, through whom He can rightfully claim to be fully human, the redeemer of humanity.”
Well there ya go… another problem solved! See you all next week!
(New this week) Geisler, Norman L., and Thomas A. Howe. When Critics Ask : A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992.
Arthur, Kay. Teach Me Your Ways: The Pentateuch (New Inductive Bible Study Series) Harvest House Publishers, 2002. ISBN: 978-0736908054. Begin at the beginning - Creation, marriage, sin, civilization. Then learn about God's continuing lovingkindness and faithfulness to His covenant people, even when they let Him down.
Grudem, Wayne et al. Understanding the Big Picture of the Bible: A Guide to Reading the Bible Well (p. 40). Crossway. Kindle Edition.)
Koukl, Greg. How Does the Old Testament Law Apply to Christians today? Available at the Stand to Reason website at http://www.str.org/articles/how-does-the-old-testament-law-apply-to-christians-today#.VTpOJSFVikp
Longman III, Tremper. Making Sense of the Old Testament. Baker Books, 1998. Answers 3 questions: What are the keys to understanding the OT? Is the God of the OT also the God of the NT? How is the Christian to apply the OT to life?
Redford, Douglas. The Pentateuch. (Vol. 1, Standard Reference Library: Old Testament). Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing, 2008.
Schreiner, Thomas. 40 Questions about Christians and Biblical Law. Kregel Publications, 2010. (ISBN 978-0825438912) – all that Law… what still applies to us? What doesn’t? Why or why not?
Zacharias, Ravi and Vince Vitale. Why Suffering?: Finding Meaning and Comfort When Life Doesn't Make Sense. FaithWords, 2014.